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Re: [Authentic_SCA] Medieval Visually Impaired/Blind People (was: Experiment)

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  • NINacide@aol.com
    I think sight helps a lot when sanding or polishing. Just my 2 cents, don t mean to contradict you. Mikhail [Non-text portions of this message have been
    Message 1 of 26 , Nov 8, 2006
      I think sight helps a lot when sanding or polishing. Just my 2 cents, don't
      mean to contradict you.

      Mikhail


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Chris Laning
      Actually, I think nearsighted people whose vision isn t corrected might have some advantage when it comes to extremely fine work. The reason for the most
      Message 2 of 26 , Nov 11, 2006
        Actually, I think nearsighted people whose vision isn't corrected
        might have some advantage when it comes to extremely fine work.

        The reason for the most common type of nearsightedness is a
        difference in the shape of the cornea, which moves the optimum focal
        point closer to the eye than it is for "normal" sighted people. So
        while it may be harder to focus the eye sharply at far distances,
        it's actually _easier_ for nearsighted people to focus at very close
        distances, closer than a normal person can focus. Being able to see
        clearly at closer-than-normal distances means you don't need as much
        magnification to do fine, close-up work -- though of course, HOW
        close you can focus depends on just how nearsighted you are. So while
        your ability to navigate in unfamiliar environments, recognize faces
        at a distance, etc. might be impaired, you might actually be _more_
        able to do certain tasks easily (such as fine embroidery) than your
        normal-sighted companions. While some form of magnification was
        available at some times and places in the Middle Ages, precisely
        ground glass lenses were expensive, so being able to do without them
        might be something of an advantage.

        (This, of course, leaves out all the possible complications -- a good
        many people who are nearsighted also have astigmatism or other visual
        problems, which might interfere with good close vision as well.)

        I also suspect that many people who have never experienced vision
        correction might be less aware of limitations and actually might see
        better than modern people who _have_ worn glasses. I can certainly
        remember that when I first wore glasses (around age 8 or 9) I was
        surprised at how much blurrier my vision was when I took them off
        than it had been before I ever tried them.

        My eye doctor later explained to me that there's a reason for this:
        being able to see "clearly" is actually as much a function of the
        brain as it is a function of the eye. The eye always presents the
        brain with multiple images, varying in sharpness, and with time, the
        brain learns to pick out the one that's clearest and ignore all the
        others. Glasses, in particular (it's less true of contact lenses)
        change the focal distance in such a way that the brain is forced to
        choose a _different_ image than the one it would choose without
        glasses -- as witness the fact that most people take a few days to
        adjust to glasses with a new prescription (I always found that my
        feet looked too far away until I adjusted). Then when you take the
        glasses off, the brain still chooses the same (new) image, which is
        now fuzzy. So someone who's never tried spectacles might very well
        see a bit more clearly at a distance than someone who's used to
        spectacles.

        While I think most people know, I should also point out that physical
        disability didn't necessarily "doom" a woman to life in a monastery.
        Parents' reasons to dedicate a daughter to a monastery were many and
        various, including how much it would cost to provide a marriage dowry
        versus a monastery entrance fee, the daughter's own preference,
        possibilities for a politically successful marriage alliance and so
        forth. A disability that affected the possibility of bearing children
        might well tip the balance toward monastery life, since a woman
        suspected to be "barren' would be a much less attractive marriage
        prospect, but I'm not sure one could say that other disabilities
        would necessarily have the same effect. I don't have a lot of data on
        this subject, but it would be interesting to find out to what extent
        this common stereotype actually is or isn't borne out by the facts.
        --
        ____________________________________________________________

        O (Lady) Christian de Holacombe , Shire of Windy Meads
        + Kingdom of the West - Chris Laning <claning@...>
        http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com
        ____________________________________________________________
      • Sue Warner
        ... Oh tell me about it--- My eye Dr. has *estimated* my vision at 5/1400, needless to say my *clear* vision stops about 3 inches from my nose. (I am literally
        Message 3 of 26 , Nov 12, 2006
          --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Chris Laning <claning@...> wrote:
          >
          > Actually, I think nearsighted people whose vision isn't corrected
          > might have some advantage when it comes to extremely fine work.

          >>>>>Much Snippage<<<<<

          Oh tell me about it---

          My eye Dr. has *estimated* my vision at 5/1400, needless to say my
          *clear* vision stops about 3 inches from my nose. (I am literally at
          arms length to the eye chart till I can see the "big E" on top.)

          However, withen that 3 inches of clear vision I can see things that
          most other people can't.

          A for instance - when I was younger I had contact lenses (can't wear
          them anymore-->sigh<) and I kept the right one frome the left one
          straight by the code numbers around the edge. His Nurse told me that
          she needed to use the microscope to see them and I wasn't supposed to
          know that they were there.

          I now work in the electronics devision and I can't tell you how often
          my co-workers call me over to "read" the numbers on the parts. They
          need to find an open microscope to read them.

          So you won't find me at an event without the specs, I would be too
          much of a health hazard to myself and the people around me. (tent
          ropes disapear and so do the list ropes at a distace of about 3 feet.)

          Mariassa Ashgrove (the near blind - thank you glasses)
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